Midhurst’s community heroes rewarded

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They were unsung heroes who gave up their time to help others in the community and at the Midhurst community awards evening they were recognised and thanked.

It was the annual awards evening organised by Midhurst Town Council and this year councillors singled out six members of the community.

Clare Fuller received her award for forming the SPACE (South Pond Active Community Endeavour) group which has brought together officers at Chichester District Council, South Downs Joint Committee, Midhurst Town Council, volunteers and charity groups in a bid to make improvements at South Pond.

Presenting her with her award, chairman of the town council John Etherington said: “We had tried for many years to get Chichester District Council to do something to improve the pond and we hit a brick wall.

“Clare came along and managed to get them moving. There has already been a lot of planting and clearing and we await the spring to see the bulbs come up.”

Two men who give up much of their spare time to coach young football and rugby players were also recognised at the awards ceremony.

Darren Chiverton looks after two senior sides and nine youth teams of Midhurst footballers.

John Whitby gives up his time to look after nine junior rugby teams in the town.

Town councillor Tony Beck presented an award to Brian Adsett for his service to the Grange Leisure Centre.

He told the audience gathered in Capron House: “The Grange became an integral part of this town when it opened 31 years ago and for 27 of those years, one man had been on the staff there. He started as a sports assistant and later became manager and a director.

“He has had problems, always short of money there, always looking for people to help, but he has done a magnificent job.”

Noel Kavanagh, owner of the Kavanagh Budgens supermarket in Midhurst, also received an award for his dedication to the town.

Mr Etherington told the audience Mr Kavanagh supported the Snack Shack mobile youth facility in Mdihurst.

He was also supporting the ice rink which is due to come to the Grange Leisure Centre for several days after Christmas.

“This is a first for Midhurst and a first for north of the Downs,” said Mr Etherington. “In addition he has provided sponsorship for the town’s youth football.”

Bernie King, nominated by the Royal British Legion, received an award for her support over the past seven years to the annual poppy appeal.

The Bill Godfrey Trophy awarded by Scouts and guides for the young person who has shown outstanding service and commitment to the community went this year to Alex Stickley.

Alex joined Easebourne Scouts when he was ten. He was a Scout, then an Explorer and went on to become a young leader. He now runs Easebourne Scouts as a leader with his wife Debbie.

Awards to the Midhurst in Bloom competition winners announced earlier this year were presented by Rotherhill Nursery owner David Burton and John Humphris from Easebourne, holder of the Victoria Medal of Honour, who led the judging.

The winners of the town’s Christmas shop window competition also received their prizes.